Among the countless difficulties covid-19 has brought upon business, there is little doubt that 2021 continued to disrupt the world of events. The past two years have truly tested the flexibility and agility of planners across the globe as it saw mass cancellations of many prominent festivals, international shows, sporting events, exhibitions and concerts in order to mitigate the spread of the virus. As we enter the new year, event professionals feel that there are multitude of reasons to be cautiously optimistic about the future. Amidst all these problems, the industry will bounce back in the near future and will steadily gain traction in the ongoing pandemic and in the post-covid era.
The event industry is used to adapting to change. It might be one of the industries that have experienced the most radical changes in the way it operates. With the rise of hybrid model and technology which lead to virtual events and the era of digitisation, which have modified the industry, but haven’t replaced peoples’ need to interact with each other face to face. People want to feel the excitement of an in-person networking event, and embrace the power of the human spirit. The core values of events and functions have not changed, and there is a hope that they will be the same in the future either.
Whilst the world has still been in and out of lockdowns and restrictions, we’ve all been busy adapting to our ‘new normal’ and forging a new future for ourselves across all aspects of our lives and businesses. And this goes for the events industry, too. Despite the recent concerns around Omicron, we believe the events industry is raring and will make a comeback stronger and better than ever, and this has driven new trends that we expect to see lead the market well into 2022. Most importantly, it can be said that it has been an era of learning lessons and entering the new year with a lot of hopes to take a bigger leap and come back wiser, hoping not to forget those lessons. We got creative, pivoted and showed a lot of support for each other. Hope we are able to keep supporting each other the same way because it will only mean that we get back on our feet much quicker.
The road ahead for the event industry
Once the virus fades, it will see a rise as all this while contactless virtual events and meetings will make people interested more in concerts, live shows and become free like before. Clearly, the importance of safety, security and flexibility will be top priorities for event’s organisers for the foreseeable future once covid-19 is brought under control, and the desire for businesses to nurture human connections through meetings and events will return. The event planners and attendees are waiting anxiously for in-person events to come back to pre-pandemic times as being face-to-face generates greater collaboration and a sense of community.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is to find ways to reduce touch points. Putting in place a well-thought-out health and safety plan for every event is not just an expectation now, but a moral imperative going forward. It can no longer be an afterthought, but rather requires the event organiser to consider the risks posed in all facets of the planning process and take all steps required to mitigate them as best they can. We hope to see commitment to progression and innovation continue into the new year, and with it we anticipate that events in 2022 will thrive. It does not necessarily mean a return to ‘normal,’ but we take the lessons learned over and move forward in creating something even better.
We know one thing for sure, events will never be the same. However, with the news of new Covid variant now, we are being brought back to the reality that we continue to navigate through unpredictable times, where planners continue to be challenged and must continue to consider all possibilities. Our biggest hope is that we can all take what we’ve learned from these past two years and be fully prepared to jump back into action. Our situation isn’t new any longer, it’s no longer a ‘pivot.’ Business is never simply handed out. It’s on all of us to be ready to produce and execute based on the current landscape.
The only constant now is change. It’s around everyone, everywhere and it’s constantly chipping away at what we understand as being normal. We are all navigating this new normal and the year of 2022 will continue to be a year of trial, error, exploration, and growth. While 2021 was certainly challenging for all of us in the events industry, we do hope to see the innovation and creativity of the past year continue into 2022, as each new year presents new opportunities to push the limits of creative tenting and layouts. We are all hoping for and expecting a bigger comeback of in-person events in 2022. I hope to see everyone succeed. We’re ready.
Sharad Chaudhary, Founder, Dreamz Production House